For expanded Isis strikes, president relies on legal authority he disavowed only a year ago
Sep. 10 2014
In the space of a single primetime address on Wednesday night, Barack Obama dealt a crippling blow to a creaking, 40-year old effort to restore legislative primacy to American warmaking - a far easier adversary to vanquish than the Islamic State. Obama’s legal arguments for unilaterally expanding a war expected to last years have shocked even his supporters.
Ahead of Wednesday’s speech the White House signaled that Obama already “has the authority he needs to take action” against Isis without congressional approval. Obama said he would welcome congressional support but framed it as optional, save for the authorisations and the $500m he wants to use the US military to train Syrian rebels. Bipartisan congressional leaders who met with Obama at the White House on Tuesday expressed no outrage.
The administration’s rationale, at odds with the war it is steadily expanding, is to forestall an endless conflict foisted upon it by a bloodthirsty legislature. Yet one of the main authorities Obama is relying on for avoiding Congress is the 2001 wellspring of the war on terrorism he advocated repealing only last year, a document known as the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) that few think actually applies to Isis.
Taken together with the congressional leadership’s shrug, Obama has stripped the veneer off a contemporary fact of American national security: presidents make war on their own, and congresses acquiesce.
The constitution envisions the exact opposite circumstance. A 1973 reform, the War Powers Resolution, attempted a constitutional restoration in the wake of the Vietnam war, ensuring that the legal authorisation for conflict deployments were voided after 60 days. Yet its restrictions on military action have proven far less durable in conflicts like Grenada, Kosovo, Libya and now the 2014-vintage Iraq war.
For the Obama administration, an allergy to congressional authorisation is enmeshed with the president’s stated desire to end what he last year termed a “perpetual war” footing. It has led Obama in directions legal scholars consider highly questionable.
Some of Obama’s legislative brushoffs are straightforward. The administration did not seek legislative authority for its 2011 Libya air war, something Congress was unlikely to grant. Scepticism also mounted in Congress last year when Obama proposed attacking Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. Secretary ofstate John Kerry told the Huffington Post that Obama could bomb Assad even if Congress voted against it.
This is my favorite post of all time
I think we receive the ask “My family member is a Conservative and says Obama hasn’t done anything, can you provide links to stuff he’s done.” We used to just send them the old standby of whatthefuckhasobamadonesofar.com, however the above link is much more comprehensive, less antagonistic, and with much better citations.
For any of my white followers who encounter this with their families as well.
i’d like to see promises he hasn’t kept also. but this is a pretty good list.
Most of them are just impossibilities with the current political climate. There are some legit disappointments though.
First Lady Michelle Obama jogs with students at Orr Elementary School in Washington, DC on Sept. 6. (Photo: Gary Cameron / Reuters via Time Magazine)
And still looks fabulous
Steven Spielberg’s “Obama”
I would honestly watch a movie where Tracy Morgan played Joe Biden
small obama chases a much larger version of himself
The First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, for Vogue US April 2013
With graphs, and scientific studies attached.
Basically republican Kryptonite.
Today In Black History: February 6, 1990 - Harvard student Barack Obama becomes the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review; this role is considered the highest student position at Harvard Law School.
In 2010, third-year Harvard Law student and Review editor Stephanie Grace circulated an email that began “I absolutely do not rule out the possibility that African Americans are, on average, genetically predisposed to be less intelligent.” The email was forwarded to the entire Black Law Students’ Association.
The Harvard Law School has been described as a “racist breeding ground,” and Stephanie Grace’s email represents just one of many more incidents that still contribute to a hostile climate for students of color at Harvard Law and other college campuses nationwide.
Just Because He’s Black (author unknown)
A white man asked his black friend “Are you going to vote for Barack Obama just because he’s black?” The black man responded by saying, “Why not? In this country men are pulled over every day just because they are black; passed over for promotions just because they are black; considered to be criminals just because they are black. Thousands of white voters won’t be voting for him just because he’s black!
However, you don’t seem to have a problem with that! This country was built with the sweat and whip of the black slaves’ back; and now a black man has a chance to lead the same country where we weren’t even considered people, where we weren’t allowed to be educated, drink from the same fountains, eat in the same restaurants, or even vote.
So I am going to vote for him!
But it’s not just because he’s black, but because through his leadership, several of America’s elusive enemies were brought to justice; several of our citizens rescued from peril; our economy, health and environment improved; and our good reputation around the world has been restored.
He is hope. He is change. He is wise. He’s a man of integrity and intelligence. He is a man of faith and perseverance. A man of maturity and good judgment. He is a faithful husband and father. And he now allows me to understand when my grandchildren say they want to be President when they grow up, it’s not a fairy tale, but a short term goal. They now see, understand, and know what they can achieve, withstand, and do anything just because they are black!
OHHHHH SNAP! Watch “The Young Turks” tonight at 7E/4P for more of President Obama’s “Atlas Shrugged” book report and other blunt talk from a new “Rolling Stone” article.
crying @ ayn rand’s face in that second one
FUCKING LOVE IT
In which President Obama diagnoses Mitt Romney with Romnesia.
that awesome moment when the campaign managers “Let(s) Barry be Barry”
In which President Obama diagnoses Mitt Romney with Romnesia.